The United States’ market-government hybrid mortgage system is unique in the world. No other nation has such heavy government intervention in housing finance. This hybrid system nurtured the excessively risky loans, financed with too much leverage, that fueled the U.S. housing bubble of the last decade and resulted in the systemic collapse of the global financial system. The responsibility for the massive failures of the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, at the center of American housing finance and the private securitization system that supports housing finance, falls directly on regulators and indirectly on their political overseers.

More on Housing Markets

Commentary

Making a Fannie and Freddie We Could Live With

By Mark A. Calabria and Alex Pollock. The Hill (Online). April 27, 2015.

Are We Headed towards Another Housing Crisis?

By Adam Smith and Bruce Yandle. Forbes. November 12, 2014.

Cameron’s Home-Buying Bungle

By Dalibor Rohac. Wall Street Journal Europe. October 2, 2013.

Cato Studies

How Are Small Banks Faring under Dodd-Frank?

By Hester Peirce, Ian Robinson, and Thomas Stratmann. Research Briefs in Economic Policy No. 20. February 18, 2015.

The Conservatorships of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: Actions Violate HERA and Established Insolvency Principles

By Michael Krimminger and Mark A. Calabria. Working Paper No. 26. February 9, 2015.

The Role of Mortgage Finance in Financial (In)Stability

By Mark A. Calabria. Working Paper No. 23. September 12, 2014.

Articles

The Productivity Gap: Monetary Policy, the Subprime Boom, and the Post-2001 Productivity Surge

George Selgin, David Beckworth, and Berrak Bahadir. Journal of Policy Modeling. Vol. 37. No. 2. March 2015.

Public Filings

On “Regulatory Burdens to Obtaining Mortgage Credit”

By Mark A. Calabria. Testimony. April 16, 2015.

Texas Dep’t of Housing & Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc.

By Meriem Hubbard, Ralph Kasarda, Joshua P. Thompson, & Ilya Shapiro. Legal Briefs. November 24, 2014.

Texas Dep’t of Housing & Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc.

By Meriem Hubbard, Ralph Kasarda, Joshua P. Thompson, & Ilya Shapiro. Legal Briefs. June 16, 2014.

Cato Reviews & Journals

Fannie, Freddie, and Future Bailouts

Policy Report. March/April 2015.

The Financial Crisis: Why the Conventional Wisdom Is Wrong

Richard Kovacevich. Cato's Letter. Fall 2014.

The Financial Crisis: Why the Conventional Wisdom Has It All Wrong

Richard Kovacevich. Cato Journal. Fall 2014.

Events

Did Affordable Housing Policy Cause the Financial Crisis and Can It Happen Again?

Featuring Mark A. Calabria. April 7, 2015. Policy Forum.

Rethinking Housing Bubbles: The Role of Household and Bank Balance Sheets in Modeling Economic Cycles

Featuring Vernon L. Smith, Steven Gjerstad, Dean Baker, & Mark A. Calabria. October 1, 2014. Book Forum.

Housing Finance Reform: Past, Present, and Future

Featuring Mark A. Calabria. July 18, 2014. Capitol Hill Briefing.